DARLA LITTLE RASCALS, N.Y. — The beloved oyster shop that was once the hub of a long-running New York bar and the scene of a deadly brawl that claimed the life of a patron and left three men in jail is now a memorial to the three men who died at the bar in 1994.
The three men, all former patrons, were killed by a man who drove into the bar from a nearby car dealership and smashed through a glass window to get inside.
The assailant died from his injuries.
The victim, a 32-year-old man named David Hester, who was a father of four, died a week later.
The killer, who is still at large, is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
Now, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the Oyster Bar is getting a new look.
The owners of the establishment have opened a new restaurant in the former Oyster Bay location and have started work on a new space to be named The Darling Oyster Shop.
It will feature the same interior as the Oysters Bay restaurant, including a bar, bar and a grill.
A portion of proceeds from the new Oyster bar will go to the New York State Comptroller’s office to help with the recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy.
The Oyster Tavern and Grill is the third restaurant to open at the former oyster business on Central Park West since the Oystee Cafe shuttered in 2014.
The restaurant will have a full bar, a grill, a bar and two TVs that are currently rented out for weddings and special events.
The owner of the Oystal Cafe, Mark DeBruyn, said it is a “great honor” to open the new restaurant and said he and his wife, Laura, are “very excited” to welcome the new staff.
The bar, with a seating capacity of around 200, will serve craft cocktails, wine, beer and other drinks, according to the owners.
A new restaurant for the Oysts Bay bar and grill will be named after David Humbert Hester.
He was a patron of the bar and had been an ardent supporter of the community in Central Park and New York, who had been known to take his business elsewhere when the Oystic Cafe shut down, DeBruckyn said.
“The oyster was a major part of the history of this place,” DeBrueyn said of Hester’s patronage.
“He would have been a part of every bar and restaurant we had.”